Hugh Richard Jones




Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, 1973-1984


by Douglas E. Abrams

Prologue: The Early Years

Judge Hugh R. Jones fondly recalled his pre-Court years as “prologue” and his post-Court years as “epilogue.”1 The story of the Jones family in America began in the 1860s, when Hugh R. and Jennie Jones emigrated from Wales and ended their long journey in Emporia, Kansas. After Hugh died in a horseback riding accident in 1875, Jennie moved her three small children (including Hugh R., Judge Jones’ father) eastward from the frontier to the Welsh community in Prospect, New York. Employment opportunities for single mothers remained grim in those days, and she supported her young family by working in a cheese factory and taking in laundry.

Hugh Richard Jones was born on March 19, 1914 at the family homestead Brynsaeth in New Hartford, near Prospect and Utica in central New York’s Oneida County. He attended the New Hartford public schools and graduated as valedictorian of New Hartford High School in 1931. Then he distinguished himself as a student-athlete at nearby Hamilton College, where his A.B. degree in 1935 came with honors in mathematics, recognition in intercollegiate debate, and varsity letters in basketball and tennis. Law school appeared on the horizon, but first he spent a year teaching mathematics and coaching tennis at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.

Judge Jones married Jean McMillen on July 3, 1937 at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Middleville, New York, home of her maternal grandmother. In 1939, he graduated from Harvard Law School, where academic excellence earned him election to the school’s Board of Student Advisors. He was admitted to the New York Bar early the following year and practiced as an associate at Burke & Burke in New York City until the outbreak of World War II. On July 1, 1942, he was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and, after duty stateside, was assigned to a naval task force that provided cover for numerous Pacific Theater light cruiser landing operations in New Guinea, the Admiralty Islands, Halmehara, the Philippines, and Borneo. Across the miles, the Jones family bond remained strong because daily, he and Jean would each read the same Biblical passage according to a schedule of passages they had drawn up together before he was sent overseas.

Lt. Commander Jones won a commendation for outstanding performance during the landings at Leyte, was released with a Bronze Star Combat V shortly after V-J Day, and remained in the Naval Reserve until 1954. The young Navy veteran returned home to Jean and their three small children in New Hartford, and joined the Utica law firm of Miller, Hubbell & Evans, where he became a partner of it and successor firms. He found the collegiality of small-town law practice appealing, and said for the rest of his life that “a lawyer’s reputation is his principal asset” and that “a lawyer’s good word defines his reputation.”2 Personal hours meant tennis, golf, and cross-country skiing with his growing family, and pursuit of his lifelong passion for woodworking. Family gatherings meant evenings of storytelling about family lore and the experiences he and Jean had enjoyed together. He also delighted in entertaining family and friends with magic tricks, which remained a hobby that would make him a hit at his grandchildren’s birthday parties a generation later.

Hugh R. Jones’ professional vision extended beyond New Hartford, and his record of public service would inspire any lawyer seeking a career compass. He joined the New York State Bar Association in 1947 and remained active in its affairs until he served as its president a quarter-century later. While maintaining his law practice in the 1950s, he served as president of three organizations instrumental in promoting community aid for troubled families – the Family Services Association of America, the New York State Welfare Conference, and the New York State Association of Community Chests and Councils. Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller named him to the New York State Board of Social Welfare in 1959, and appointed him chair five years later. The Governor also named him a trustee of the State University of New York. The young lawyer also found time to chair the fundraising campaign for the State Bar Building, serve a year as president of the Oneida County Bar Association, and become a trustee (and later a life trustee) of his alma mater, Hamilton College.

Judge Jones’ service extended beyond the law. He was a Baptist in his early childhood, but chose his mother’s denominational preference and became an active Episcopal layman when his father died in 1927. Judge Jones remained active in his church at the parish, diocesan and national levels for the rest of his life. He served as Chancellor (legal advisor) and confidant to three Presiding Bishops of the National Episcopal Church and five Bishops of the Diocese of Central New York. In 1974, the General Theological Seminary in Manhattan awarded him a Doctor of Divinity degree.

In 1971, Governor Rockefeller named Hugh R. Jones chair of a special commission that examined the state prison system and recommended reforms after the bloody Attica uprising. The experience left an immediate impression. “The vital interest of the public and the constitutional rights of those charged with and those convicted of crimes,” the future judge wrote, “Ademand immediate, forceful, effective attention. There is neither time nor any disposition to point fingers at the failures of the past.” He urged state leaders to “move vigorously, boldly and above all without delay to the design and execution of crash remedial programs.”3

When Hugh R. Jones assumed the presidency of the New York State Bar Association late in 1971, America was fighting a divisive war after a decade of protest, assassinations and change. With lawyers and legal institutions challenged, the new bar president responded with challenges of his own. “Our license to practice law,” he told the state’s lawyers, “is a privilege, not a right. It may be withdrawn by the same society by which it is granted. . . . The people have a right to demand that our profession provide reasonable solutions for the felt necessities of our times. . . .”4 This right, he stressed, resided in all the people, regardless of their station: “[O]ur responsibility is as servants of society, to make our professional competences readily available for the benefit of our communities and all their members.”5

The new bar president challenged lawyers to be “ever more sensitive and more responsive to the legitimate demands of society for change and reform. We must not be buffeted by the winds of passing fancy,” he warned, “but we must respect the aims of youth, of the minorities, of women, and the changing rights of those accused of crime. . . . There can be no justice without law and order. . . . [T]here can be no law and order without justice.”6

The Court Years

In November of 1972, Hugh R. Jones was elected to the Court of Appeals with Republican endorsement in one of the last elections for seats on that bench. Elected with him were two other Republicans, Domenick L. Gabrielli and Sol Wachtler. Judge Jones was a newcomer to politics, but he crisscrossed the state during the campaign. He felt frustrated, however, because the canons of judicial ethics kept him from speaking about substantive law and answering voters’ questions about his views. The campaign solidified his personal support for choosing Court of Appeals judges by merit rather than election. After the rancor of that contested partisan election and another in 1974 for two Court seats, merit selection became a reality in 1977 when voters amended the state constitution to provide for gubernatorial nomination to the Court from a list recommended by the Commission on Judicial Nomination, subject to state Senate approval.

Judge Jones had not aspired to judicial office, and service on the Court of Appeals became his first and only judicial position. He joined the Court’s deliberations with vigor, hearing more than 7,500 appeals and writing 293 signed majority, concurring and dissenting opinions during his twelve years on the bench. Selecting from among such an imposing array necessarily suffers from risk of omission, but two of Judge Jones’ best-known opinions, Codling v. Paglia and People v. Onofre, demonstrate his respect for common law decisionmaking and his abiding concern for civil liberties.

The Court heard oral arguments in Codling barely a month after Judge Jones ascended to the bench. Four months later, his majority opinion adopted the rule holding the manufacturer of a defective product strictly liable to any person injured or damaged, provided the product was used for its intended purpose and the injured party could not have avoided injury or damage by exercising reasonable care.7 The landmark decision toppled the “citadel of privity,” which the Court’s common law adjudication had fashioned and then eroded incrementally in response to social and economic change for more than century and a half.8 After tracing the common law pedigree of the privity doctrine and its proliferating exceptions, Judge Jones concluded that “[a] developing and more analytical sense of justice” demonstrated the need for a broad principle of strict products liability grounded in the realities of modern manufacture, production, and distribution.9

In 1980, in People v. Onofre, Judge Jones wrote the majority opinion holding that criminalizing private sodomy between consenting adults violated the rights to privacy and equal protection guaranteed by the federal Constitution.10 Public discourse about the morality of private consensual sodomy would continue, the lay Episcopal leader and Doctor of Divinity recognized, but the dispositive issue on appeal was constitutionality. The courts had heard no evidence demonstrating that private consensual sodomy harmed its participants or society generally, and “it is not the function of the Penal Law in our governmental policy to provide either a medium for the articulation or the apparatus for the intended enforcement of moral or theological values.”11

Onofre drew a vigorous dissent by two Judges, but twenty-three years later the United States Supreme Court reached the same outcome in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down that state’s private consensual sodomy statute for violating Fourteenth Amendment due process.12 By that time, Texas remained one of only a handful of states with such statutes because several other states had joined New York by constitutional decision or statutory repeal.

Judge Jones was a prodigious, selfless worker. “Prodigious” because during each two-week Court session in Albany for twelve years, he would be at his desk in chambers every morning by 7:00 and would work past midnight writing opinions and preparing for the next day’s arguments. Lunch was at his desk, and dinner was with the other judges. “Selfless” because he did not mind that many of his opinions never found their way into the New York Reports. His colleagues acknowledged him as “the master of the internal dissent,”13 which he would frequently circulate early in the Court’s deliberations, sometimes even before the draft majority opinion made its rounds. Publication was not his goal. His internal dissents sometimes sought to persuade the majority, but often sought merely to sharpen the majority’s thinking and thus produce a more incisive opinion of the court, perhaps even a unanimous one. Judge Jones recognized that the soundest appellate decisions emerge from a solid foundation of spirited debate among colleagues rather than from more fragile early unanimity. “What we see as his opinions in the Official Reports,” Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye disclosed years later, “are only a fraction of the writings of this remarkable jurist.”14

Judge Jones left his imprint not only on the substance of the Court’s decisionmaking, but also on its style. He thrived on the meticulous preparation required to fulfill the mission of a “hot” court, and he relished the intellectual excitement of oral argument, which “always sharpened my comprehension of the argument after I had read the briefs.”15 He became known for his precise, respectful questioning of counsel, always to hone and refine the core legal issues, but never to embarrass or insult. “Many times I thought of coming off the bench to give a sympathetic hug to lawyers at the other end of a Hugh R. Jones cross-examination,” Chief Judge Kaye recalled. “I was deterred only by the fact that they were undoubtedly enjoying these probing exchanges every bit as much as Judge Jones.”16

Years later, Judge Stewart F. Hancock, Jr. said that Judge Jones’ “beautifully crafted opinions stand out in the New York Reports as models of scholarship, clarity of thought, and lucid graceful wordsmanship.”17 They were “clear, crisp powerful writings,” Chief Judge Kaye added, “not a spare or careless word in them.”18 Draft opinions left Judge Jones’ chambers only after he and his clerks had reviewed every sentence for clarity and content. His decades in law practice reminded him too that practicing lawyers are ultimate consumers of the Court’s opinions. His opinions for the Court invariably opened with “We hold that . . . ” or a similar recitation, followed by a succinct statement of the holding grounded in the facts and law presented in the ensuing paragraphs. Judge Jones also avoided string citations that, while perhaps winning personal attention for the author, obligate practitioners to devote their time (and the client’s resources) to examine each cite for possible meaning in later cases.

In 1979, Judge Jones delivered the prestigious Cardozo Lecture at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and his Cogitations on Appellate Decision-Making became an immediate “mainstay for appellate judges.”19 The Lecture advanced four basic tenets of principled, selfless appellate judging in a collegial state court of last resort.20

The first tenet was neutrality because judges must apply “knowledge, wisdom and human compassion” with “no predetermined destination” and “no prior commitment to [a case’s] outcome.” The sole concern remains “the best result available, consistent with a proper view of the facts, the prescriptions of statute, the impact of precedential authority, the persuasion of reason and, where applicable, the perception of policy considerations, all subject, of course, to recognition of constitutional mandate.”21

Judge Jones’ second tenet called for “objective rigorous analysis” of fact and law to “reduce the risk of result-oriented decision-making.”22 The third tenet was respect for gradual “case-by-case evolution and refinement” of the common law because “judges lack the competence or clairvoyance to anticipate the implications and ramifications of broad announcement as well as the wisdom to formulate them.”23

The fourth tenet was selfless regard for the Court as an institution. “[M]y responsibility to the Court as an institution,” Judge Jones told his audience, “commands the subordination of my personal interests.” “The coordinates by which I make choices in individual instances as to how I shall participate in the disposition of a matter before the Court are those of the best interests of the Court and of the public perception of the institution as I understand them.”23

Perhaps the keystone of the Cardozo Lecture was Judge Jones’ call for restrained use of the power to dissent. “[T]he determination whether to dissent in the particular case,” he argued, “should be made with principal awareness of its impact on the court,” with “considerations of personal interest . . . consciously subordinated.”24 “[B]ecause a judge does not dissent it should not necessarily be understood that the majority opinion expresses his preferred view of the case. By failing to dissent he does represent that the opinion expresses the decision of his court, that he accepts that decision and, if he is in disagreement, that he has concluded that no sufficiently useful purpose would be served by a public disclosure of his disagreement.”25

In 1982, Judge Jones’ tenth anniversary on the bench, the New York Times called him the “intellectual leader of the court.”26 Two years later, he turned seventy and mandatory retirement beckoned. In the Judge’s final days on the bench, a leading criminal defense lawyer lauded his “unbeatable intellectual prowess” and called him “a man of letters” who “provided . . . a new standard of intellect in the art of decision making.”27 Judge Matthew J. Jasen praised his colleague’s “creative talent and unusual energy,” and his “comprehensive knowledge of the law, . . . vigorous precision and . . . abiding fidelity to the judicial role.”28 Speaking about the Court, former Chief Judge Charles D. Breitel was more direct. Judge Jones, he said, was “one of the best minds we’ve ever had.”29

Judge Jones’ December 19, 1984 farewell to the Court was marked by the same grace that had marked his tenure. “His bearing, as always was erect and dignified – he was the very picture of a High Court Judge.”30 The farewell told much about the man. Transcripts of retirement ceremonies, with their final opportunity for public reminiscence and outlook, are published in the New York Reports. Judge Jones concluded his remarks that day by thanking Court personnel by name – not only the other Judges, but also the clerks, secretaries, librarian and support staff. Many of these people had devoted their entire adult lives to the Court’s service, and now they were immortalized in the Reports because someone in a high position thought to pause and remember.31

Less than two weeks after the retirement ceremony, drama accompanied Judge Jones’ final hours on the Court. Five lower court judges had filed suit challenging the state constitution’s mandate that specified judges, including Court of Appeals judges, retire on the last day of the year in which they turn seventy. The contention was that the mandate violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the federal Constitution. The trial court struck down the constitutional mandate on December 18, and the Appellate Division reversed on December 28. To avoid confusion in the state court system with at least twenty-two judges slated for mandatory retirement, the Court of Appeals heard the expedited appeal in a rare Saturday session in Albany on December 29.32 Among the twenty-two were Judge Jones and Chief Judge Lawrence H. Cooke.

Both Court of Appeals judges had announced that they would step down regardless of the Court’s decision because the people had elected them with the expectation that the State constitution would control their retirement. “It is inevitable that this day would come,” Judge Jones explained. “[I]t has and it should.”33 The Chief Judge recused himself because the Office of Court Administration was a party, but Judge Jones joined the Court’s decision upholding the constitutional mandate.34 The Court handed down the decision late in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve, and Judge Jones drove home to New Hartford in time to usher in the new year with his family a few hours later.

Epilogue: After the Court

Judge Jones’ retirement was a constitutional command but, for more than a decade, not a practical reality. He called the Court years “the climaxing happiness of my professional life,”35 but he perceived his departure from the Court as a new beginning at a time of life when many lawyers wind down their affairs. He and Jean found time for world travel and the grandchildren, but he did not truly retire from the law until well into the 1990s.

Within days after he left the court, Judge Jones became resident counsel (or, as he sometimes put it, “resident oracle”) at the Syracuse-based firm of Hiscock & Barclay. He announced that he would not personally argue a case in any New York court because he believed that avoiding personal appearance on a client’s behalf “is better as a matter of taste even though there is no ethical bar.” But until 1992, he drove the 100-mile round trip from New Hartford each day to advise partners and associates and to conduct commercial arbitrations. He also testified around the world as an expert witness on various questions of New York law and remained a fellow of the American Law Institute and an Advisor to the Restatement, Restitution 2d, a position he assumed in 1981 while still on the bench. When Judge Jones lectured to law school audiences, he connected with his young listeners, who sensed mutual respect. After his 1985 Norris Lecture at Fordham Law School, a student approached and gave him a reprint of the law review article the student had just published about a recent Court of Appeals decision. Judge Jones thanked the student, talked with him about the thesis, and then asked him to sign the front cover. “I couldn’t believe it,” the student said later. “He was a Court of Appeals judge, and he asked for my autograph.”

As Judge Jones passed eighty, he continued to answer the call to statewide public service. Two new terms – “Jones Commission” and “Jones Committee” – reached the headlines regularly. Governor Mario M. Cuomo (himself a former clerk to a judge of the Court) named him chair of the Commission on Judicial Nomination, which fashions the panels from which the Governor fills Court of Appeals vacancies. But that was not all. Judge Jones also chaired the Fourth Department Judicial Screening Committee; the Temporary State Commission on Executive, Legislative and Judicial Compensation; the New York State Bar Association’s Special Committee to Review the Code of Professional Responsibility; the Special Committee on Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Compensation; and the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Liability Insurance.

The years passed. At a reunion of his clerks to celebrate his eightieth birthday, Judge Jones told them that if he could live his life over again, he would not change anything because it had been “a glorious life – varied, active, challenging, satisfying.” He was a deeply religious man whose concerns about the end of his life were not about death, but about his dying. He had been actively involved professionally and personally in protecting the right of individuals to die with dignity, and he had carefully examined the complexities of decisionmaking at the end of life. He was a member of the Society for Death with Dignity, and had numerous conversations with immediate family members about his wishes for end-of-life care. Twelve years before his death, he had drafted comprehensive Advance Directives and assigned Health Care Proxies to insure that his wishes would be carried out.

By the mid-1990s, Judge Jones and his family had lived nearly his entire adult life in Brynsaeth, the home in which he was born. Recognizing the march of time in 1997, he and Jean moved into a comfortable Utica retirement community, where he died peacefully on March 3, 2001, two weeks before his eighty-seventh birthday. He was survived by Jean, his wife of 63 years, their five children and their spouses, thirteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Judge Jones is buried a few miles from Brynsaeth in the Hamilton College Cemetery next to Jean, who died on November 19, 2002 at the age of 91.

Judge Jones had “loved his life, filled it to the brim, enjoyed it immensely, and directed that there be absolutely no sadness on his passing.”36 His sense of humor had warmed family, friends, colleagues and staff. The Hugh R. Jones “epilogue” closed with praise from all corners of the state for more than a half-century in law, public service, and jurisprudence. The New York Times called him an “intellectual giant,” one “whose precise, logical analysis greatly influenced his colleagues and the law.”37 Chief Judge Kaye called him “one of the outstanding lawyers, judges and humanitarians of our time.”38 Judge Hancock called him “one of the great jurists to have served on the Court of Appeals . . . [,] a role model, not only as a Judge but as a selfless, public-spirited citizen – one who devoted the better part of his life to serving his country, his state, his community, his church, and his fellow lawyers.”39

“From his humble beginnings,” the Utica Observer-Dispatch editorialized, “Judge Jones’ commitment to God and community set him apart [as] a role model for family, friends and neighbors.”40 Hamilton College remembered its distinguished alumnus this way: “Proud of his Welsh heritage and firm in his religious faith, Hugh Jones combined integrity with a compassionate approach to justice. Dignified in demeanor and erect in posture, he was impressive in both physical and mental stature. In more private moments, he loved to sing (off key, it is said) and play golf, and one of his favorite pastimes was working with wood. A devoted family man and an inveterate optimist, he was known to those close to him as sensitive and caring, and imbued with great humility as well as a keen devotion to duty.”41

The New York State Bar Association, which had awarded Judge Jones its Root-Stimson Award in 1978 and the Gold Medal (its highest honor) in 1985, now created the Judge Hugh R. Jones Defender of Freedom Award, which would be presented annually for exceptional accomplishments by bar members to uphold the nation’s freedom. The Oneida County Bar Association created the Hugh R. Jones Award, presented annually to the lawyer in the county who excels in knowledge of the law, and displays the highest level of honesty, integrity, and devotion to public service. Hamilton College created the Hugh R. Jones Moot Court Competition for undergraduates nationwide, and Fordham Law School created the Hugh R. Jones Prize in Law and Public Policy. Judge Jones was inducted into the Mohawk Valley Hall of Fame.

To promote research and writing on issues affecting the judiciary, the Fund For Modern Courts endowed the Hugh R. Jones Memorial Lecture at Albany Law School. The annual lecture has been delivered by sitting or former members of the Court, whose knowledge and insights have enhanced scholarship and thought about the New York court system and the judicial process.

With Judge Jones’ passing, his staff lost “a teacher, mentor, and role model” but retained his lessons about personal and professional character.42 The Judge’s longtime secretary remembered that despite the Court’s heavy workload, he never gave her a new project late in the afternoon. He would wait instead until the next morning so the project would not weigh on her mind as she spent the evening with her family. She also remembered typing his opinions manually, unaided by word processing and other technology developed in later years. The Judge would invariably parse every word until he circulated an opinion, but he tried to make later changes by counting words on the line so his secretary could erase or cut-and-paste without having to retype the entire page.

The eight law clerks remembered that “[a]bove everything else, . . . a Hugh R. Jones clerkship taught that to be a good lawyer, one must first be a good person”:

Whenever someone walked into the Judge’s office while we clerks in the outer chambers were attending to other matters, his greeting gave no hint whether the visitor was the Chief Judge or the janitor who emptied the wastebaskets; Judge Jones gave everyone the same warm welcome. He answered every letter he received, even ones from prisoners whose convictions the Court had affirmed or left undisturbed. On the rare nights when clerks outlasted the Judge, he went home only after first making the rounds to say good night to each of us. Even his most ordinary requests were punctuated with ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ He treated clerks with such unfailing courtesy that we were not surprised a few years ago when Mrs. Jones said she had never heard him raise his voice in the sixty-plus years she had known him.43

Judge Jones’ most enduring lessons,” his clerks concluded, “were unrelated to doctrine. He taught us how to perceive law and its place in human experience. He taught us how to think and reason. Most important, he taught us how to live.44


Judge and Mrs. Jones are survived by their five children, Hugh R. Jones, Jr. and his wife Sara (Weston, Massachusetts), Anne Jones McHugh and her husband Tom (Baileyville, Maine), Thomas McMillen Jones and his wife Penny (Morris Plains, New Jersey), Jean Jones Morris and her husband Tom (Remsen, New York), and David Bourne Jones and his wife Betty-Jane (Libertyville, Illinois).

Judge and Mrs. Jones are also survived by 13 grandchildren, Hugh R. Jones III and his wife Robin, Allison Payne Jones Elvekrog and her husband Jon, C. Clift Jones and his wife Bryn Zeckhauser, and Daniel Garrison Jones and his wife Paola; David Charles McHugh, Kelly Jean McHugh and Thomas Richard McHugh; Margaret McMillen Jones and her husband Filomeno (Luter) Sousa de Ahzinaga, and Anne Axtell Jones; Adam Thomas Morris and Emily MeeRye Karen Morris; and Elizabeth Carlyn and David McMillen Jones. The Jones family also includes five great-grandchildren, Hugh R. Jones IV, Tucker McMillen Jones and Jon Payne Elvekrog, Austen Sara Elvekrog and Tenley Elizabeth Clift Elvekrog.


“Cogitations on Appellate Decision-Making” By The Honorable Hugh R. Jones [PDF]


This biography appears in The Judges of the New York Court of Appeals: A Biographical History, ed. Hon. Albert M. Rosenblatt (New York: Fordham University Press, 2007). It has not been updated since publication.


Sources Consulted

Abrams, Clerking With Judge Hugh R. Jones, 14 Ford Urb LJ 521 (1986).

Abrams and Crowley, Remembering Judge Hugh R. Jones, 65 Alb L Rev 9 (2001).

Crowley, Reflections of a Law Clerk, 48 Syr L Rev 1473 (1998).

Hancock, Jr., Meeting the Needs: Fairness, Morality, Creativity and Common Sense, 68 Alb L Rev 81 (2004).

Jones, Cogitations on Appellate Decision-Making, 34 Rec Ass’n B City of NY 543 (1979),

reprinted in 52 NY St BJ 189 (Apr. 1980).

Jones, The President’s Page, 43-44 NY St BJ (1971-72).

Kaye, A Tribute to the Honorable Hugh R. Jones, 65 Alb L Rev 1 (2001).

Kaye, In Memoriam: Honorable Hugh R. Jones, 95 NY2d xxi (Mar. 20, 2001).

Krouner, Remembering Judge Hugh R. Jones: A Professional and Personal Inspiration, 65
Alb L Rev 5 (2001).

Levine, Hugh R. Jones Lecture at Albany Law School, 67 Alb L Rev 1 (2003).

Remarks at Ceremony Marking Retirement of Associate Judge Hugh R. Jones (Dec. 19, 1984), 63 NY2d xiii (1984).

Sterk, The New York Court of Appeals: 100 Years of Leading Decisions, 48 Syr L Rev 1391 (1998).

Wesley, Hugh Jones and Modern Courts: The Pursuit of Justice Then and Now, 65 Alb L Rev 1123 (2002).

Younger, Reflections on the Life and Work of the Honorable Hugh R. Jones, 65 Alb L Rev 13 (2001).


Published Writings Include:

The President’s Page, 43-44 NY St BJ (1971-72).

The Responsibility To Discriminate, Hamilton Alumni Rev 5 (1974).

Cogitations on Appellate Decision-Making, 34 Rec Ass’n B City of NY 543 (1979), reprinted in 52 NY St BJ 189 (Apr. 1980).

Arbitration From the Viewpoint of the Practicing Attorney: An Analysis of Arbitration Cases Decided By the New York State Court of Appeals From January 1973 to September 1985, 14 Ford Urb LJ 523 (1986).

A Tribute To Judge Matthew J. Jasen, 35 Buff L Rev 1 (1986).

Introduction to Report of the Special Committee to Consider Sanctions for Frivolous Litigation in New York State Courts, 18 Ford Urb LJ 1 (1990).

Appellate Advocacy, Written and Oral, 47 J Mo Bar 297 (June 1991).



  1. See Kaye, A Tribute to the Honorable Hugh R. Jones, 65 Alb L Rev 1, 1 (2001); Kaye, In Memoriam: Honorable Hugh R. Jones, 95 NY2d xxi (Mar. 20, 2001).
  2. Younger, Reflections on the Life and Work of the Honorable Hugh R. Jones, 65 Alb L Rev 13, 13 (2001).
  3. Jones, The President’s Page, 44 NY St BJ 63, 63 (Feb. 1972).
  4. Id. at 3 (Jan. 1972).
  5. Id. at 304 (Aug. 1971).
  6. Id. at 3 (Jan. 1972).
  7. Codling v. Paglia, 32 NY2d 330 (1973).
  8. Ultramares Corp. v. Touche, 255 NY 170, 180 (1931) (Cardozo, J.). See, e.g., Harry W. Jones et al., Legal Method – Cases and Text Materials 132-217 (1980); Sterk, The New York Court of Appeals: 100 Years of Leading Decisions, 48 Syr L Rev 1391, 1402-05 (1998).
  9. Codling, 32 NY2d at 339.
  10. 51 NY2d 476 (1980).
  11. Id. at 489 & n.3, 489-91.
  12. 539 US 558 (2003).
  13. Wesley, Hugh Jones and Modern Courts: The Pursuit of Justice Then and Now, 65 Alb L Rev 1123, 1125 (2002).
  14. Kaye, Tribute at 3, supra note 1.
  15. Jones, Appellate Advocacy, Written and Oral, 47 J Mo Bar 297, 300 (June 1991).
  16. Kaye, Introduction to the 2004 Hugh R. Jones Memorial Lecture at Albany Law School, 68 Alb L Rev 77, 77 (2004).
  17. Hancock, Jr., Meeting the Needs: Fairness, Morality, Creativity and Common Sense, 68 Alb L Rev 81, 81 (2004).
  18. Caher, Judge Hugh R. Jones, NYLJ, Mar. 6, 2001, at 2 (obituary) (one of the Court’s “best writers”); Kaye, Tribute at 2, supra note 1.
  19. Wesley at 1124, supra note 12. See also, e.g., Levine, Hugh R. Jones Lecture at Albany Law School, 67 Alb L Rev 1, 1 (2003) (“When I went on the Court of Appeals, I, like so many other new members of the Court, turned for guidance to” Judge Jones’ Cardozo Lecture, which “contained some of the best descriptions of the qualities of an ideal high court common-law judge”); Kaye, Tribute at 2, supra note 1 (“I return often” to Judge Jones’ Cardozo Lecture); Bellacosa, Forty-Seventh Cardozo Memorial Lecture: Benjamin Nathan Cardozo the Teacher, 16 Cardozo L Rev 2415, 2418 (1995) (calling Judge Jones’ Cardozo Lecture a “marvelous exertion and dissertation”); Former Court of Appeals Judge Levine Defends Common Law Adjudication, NYLJ, Apr. 1, 2003, at 1 (Judge Jones’ Cardozo Lecture “continues to influence the art of adjudication.”); Caher, Wesley Finds Trend in Modern Research on Court Is Flawed, NYLJ, Mar. 12, 2002, at 1 (Judge Jones’ Cardozo Lecture “remains a benchmark”).
  20. See Levine at 2, supra note 19 (stating these tenets).
  21. Jones, Cogitations on Appellate Decision-Making, 34 Rec Ass’n B City of NY 543, 544 (1979), reprinted in 52 NY St BJ 189, 190 (Apr. 1980).
  22. Id., 34 Rec Ass’n B City of NY at 547, 52 NY St BJ at 215.
  23. Id., 34 Rec Ass’n B City of NY at 547-48, 52 NY St BJ at 215-16.
  24. Id., 34 Rec Ass’n B City of NY at 545, 52 NY St BJ at 190.
  25. Id., 34 Rec Ass’n B City of NY at 552, 555 (1979), 52 NY St BJ at 218, 220.
  26. Margolick, New York’s Court of Appeals Faces Vast Changes as a New
    Era Begins, NY Times, Nov. 7, 1982, at 1. See also Mansnerus, Hugh R. Jones (obituary), NY Times, Mar. 6, 2001, at A19 (calling Judge Jones “an intellectual leader of the state’s highest court and one of its best writers”; quoting Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, who called Judge Jones “the court’s most facile and skillful writer”).
  27. Fahringer, Cooke, Jones: Different Styles But Responsive to Inequities, NYLJ, Jan. 2, 1985, at 1.
  28. Jasen, Remarks at Ceremony Marking Retirement of Associate Judge Hugh R. Jones (Dec. 19, 1984), in 63 NY2d xiii, xiv, xv (1984).
  29. Utica Press, Dec. 29, 1984, at 1.
  30. Kaye, Tribute at 3, supra note 1.
  31. Ceremony Marking Retirement of Associate Judge Hugh R. Jones (Dec. 19, 1984), in 63 NY2d xv (1984).
  32. See Margolick, State High Court Backs Judges’ Retirement At 70, NY Times, Jan. 1, 1985, at 30.
  33. Jones, Ceremony Marking Retirement of Associate Judge Hugh R. Jones (Dec. 19, 1984), in 63 NY2d xv (1984).
  34. See Maresca v. Cuomo, 64 NY2d 242 (1984).
  35. Jones, 63 NY2d at xv, supra note 33.
  36. Kaye, Tribute at 1, supra note 1.
  37. Caher at 2, supra note 18.
  38. Kaye at 77, supra note 16.
  39. Hancock, Jr. at 81, supra note 17.
  40. Hugh Jones Embodied Spirit of Community, Utica Observer-Dispatch, Mar. 4, 2001 (editorial).
  41. Hugh Richard Jones, Hamilton Alumni Rev 64 (Summer-Fall 2001).
  42. Younger at 14, supra note 2.
  43. Abrams and Crowley, Remembering Judge Hugh R. Jones, 65 Alb L Rev 9, 10 (2001).
  44. Id. at 10. Judge Jones had eight law clerks: Douglas E. Abrams, William J. Comiskey, Mary Lou Crowley, Leonard W. Krouner, Stephen D. Linett, Jonathan W. Miller, Thomas Day Thacher II and Stephen P. Younger. Martha Willmot served as the Judge’s secretary during most of his tenure on the Court, followed by Carmel Loffredo after Ms. Willmot’s retirement.
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